R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Down

Author Topic: Actual frequency response of high end mics: how useful?  (Read 13751 times)

soapfoot

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 232
  • brad allen williams
Re: Actual frequency response of high end mics: how useful?
« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2013, 10:19:26 am »

I take it that the "honest plot" is the real world performance of the mic, with respect to frequency response, much more so than the smoothed plot.   Are you now saying that it isnt?

I think what we're saying here is that the "honest plot" is representational of the "real world" performance of not just the mic, but other variables as well (that can be hard to control for). 

Variations/imperfections in the test chamber, the test setup, reflections of the mic stand in the test chamber, and perhaps some other uncontrolled (or uncontrollable) variables.

In the end as Klaus said-- no chart or graph will tell you what you need to know in order to select the best microphone for a given application or source. You must rely upon your ears and experience for that-- there really is no better way.
Logged

Jim Williams

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 579
Re: Actual frequency response of high end mics: how useful?
« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2013, 11:22:56 am »

On the one hand Jim, you seem to be condemning the "smoothing" practice, and on the other, almost justifying it. I'm confused.
 
As I said earlier, I would like to see that " honest plot"  if as you imply the ones we are given are dishonest.

Tim

It's a tool. It has a function and is useful. Can it be misused? Yes, like any tool. I try not to do that sort of stuff here.

I find mic response curves helpful. Seeing a mic response with a big bump at 5k hz tells me it won't sound like a mic with a flatter response. Will it tell me what it sounds like? No. At least it's something.

Trust, but verify.

Listen to it after reading the plots. It's how I've always approached microphones. Take in all the info you can, it helps make for a more informed decision.

Logged

klaus

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1731
Re: Actual frequency response of high end mics: how useful?
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2013, 12:58:00 pm »

...what use would such a plot be even to designers? I take it designers design their mics for the real world.
For example, head basket construction could be optimized with the help of detailed frequency analysis, to show where certain frequencies are concentrated, due to standing waves from reflections. Response could then be improved by measuring and adjusting the distances correlating to the wavelength of boost or cut.

But it's a fairly safe guess that in the "real world" no one ever goes that far, because

1. the parameters of good mic design have been mostly established by now, and

2. you can get there with good ears just as fast or faster (that's how, for example, the Brauner KHE's head basket weave and pattern was arrived at)
Logged
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Timtape

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 103
  • Real Full Name: Tim Gillett
Re: Actual frequency response of high end mics: how useful?
« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2013, 03:43:18 pm »

What we are discussing here is only the backdrop to the other assertion I read these days about "matching" a mic to a particular voice. It is that which I question and its validity.

Sinatra and the U47 is often mentioned as an example.  Reading some people today you would get the impression that back then in the 40's/50's they tried  different mics on Sinatra's voice and finally came up with the U47 as the best match.
But when I read it from the guys who were actually there, there seems no such suggestion. They speak of having used RCA ribbon mics up until that point,  not only on Sinatra's voice but lots of other instruments as well. It was just the best mic they had at that time. Then when the U47 came along they used that  on the instruments and also on Sinatra's vocal because it was flatter with a better top end than the RCA ribbon. So it was used on the horns, the guitars, the strings etc as well as on Sinatra's voice. The implication was that yes it suited Sinatra's voice better but that it suited the instruments better and indeed any voices better. It was just a flatter more capable mic!

Many people fall in love with a particular vocal recording and their first question so often is "what  mic did they use on xxxxxx's voice?" The artistic and the technical get all confused.

If it's true that one particular mic is subjectively the "best fit" for a particular vocalist, even down to singing in a given key signature, then ten top engineers/producers should independently of one another's choices, arrrive at exactly the same mic choice.

But as far as I am aware, it's never been tested. The idea seems to have been accepted as Gospel, as "fact" without ever being checked. That's what I am saying.

Tim
Logged

klaus

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1731
Re: Actual frequency response of high end mics: how useful?
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2013, 04:09:54 pm »

Choosing the right mic for the right voice/instrument is an artistic decision that defies scientific evaluation.

You keep insisting that somehow science has a grip on that, and if it cannot be scientifically demonstrated what engineers and artists and producers hear, it's not valid. In my opinion, you overestimate the reach of scientific investigation into audio. It's still in its infancy, and limited to rather raw and course datapoints which are not even remotely capable of capturing our hearing.

It's been a long and moderately informative thread, and I will now close the kitchen on this subject.
Logged
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com
Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Up